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NFL Week 5 pick for Colts vs. Texans

J.J. Watt #99 of the Houston Texans pumps

J.J. Watt #99 of the Houston Texans pumps up the crowd while playing against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the first quarter on Sept. 27, 2015 at NRG Stadium in Houston, Texas. Credit: Getty Images / Thomas B. Shea

COLTS (2-2) AT TEXANS (1-3)TV: Ch. 2, NFL; 8:25 p.m. Radio: WFAN (660, 101.9)

LINE: Texans by 1; O/U: 441/2

The line for this game was OFF for the last few days because of the uncertainty surrounding Andrew Luck's status. The word "off" can apply to both of these teams' starts to the season.

The 1-3 Texans are also 1-3 against the spread (ATS), while the 2-2 Colts are the only NFL team that is 0-4 ATS. Indy has won two in a row, but it needed a last-second stop at Tennessee and then last week only won after Jacksonville missed field goals at the end of regulation and in overtime.

Luck sat out last week for the first time in his career. He practiced on Tuesday, taking the majority of snaps, and I'd be shocked if he doesn't play Thursday night. The biggest question is: Can his shaky offensive line protect him from J.J. Watt and Jadeveon Clowney?

Now to the Texans' quarterback situation. Coach Bill O'Brien started the season with Brian Hoyer, then went to Ryan Mallett after one game. O'Brien is sticking with Mallett for Thursday night, even though he pulled him last week after the Falcons took a 42-0 lead. Arian Foster was a non-factor in his return last week, and Houston will need the running back to be a workhorse against a Colts defense that is giving up 119.5 rushing yards per game and 387.5 total yards.

The Colts have won 15 straight games against divisional foes. If they win Thursday night, they'll break the record the Dolphins set in 1972. If Mercury Morris cherishes that record like he does the undefeated season, then he need not worry: Watt and Clowney apply the hard knocks on Luck, plus Foster makes an impact as the Texans find a way to stop the streak. This could be a wild game. I'll lean toward the more desperate team at home.

The pick: Texans


Bob Glauber: Colts

Tom Rock: Colts

Kimberley Martin: Colts

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